The Pentagon's New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-First Century.
Run, don't walk, to your local bookstore and buy this book or order it on your computer! Why? Let me explain. I first met Thomas Barnett in a briefing he gave to a group of recent brigadier-general selectees. At the beginning, some thought that this might be a square-filler lecture on world events. By the time he finished, however, much of the oxygen had left the room. I quickly followed up with a Web search (http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com), yielding an Esquire article on Barnett that outlined a new way of looking at where our future threats would come from and what implications they held for our military in general--and the Air Force in particular. Needless to say, I was delighted when I heard that a forthcoming book of his would expand on the subject. It didn't disappoint.
In brief, The Pentagon's New Map outlines the demise of the nation-state as the principal model for future adversarial scenarios. Barnett provides some credible statistics and evidence of the relationship between "disconnected" parts of the world--stretching in a band from parts of Africa, through the Middle East, and into Asia--that have recently served as a breeding ground for what we have collectively called terrorists. Dealing with such circum stances will challenge traditional military thinking, alter the types of programs and equipment needed, and expand the concept of jointness--including a totally revised and energized interagency process. Such ideas are now regularly making the rounds in Washington, DC, and other arenas, even to the extent that we will need a Goldwater-Nichols Act for the interagency process. Barnett's book gives as good an insight as any I've read into some of the thinking taking place throughout the Bush administration. It promises to help shape discussions and decisions that will determine the outcome of the next Quadrennial Defense Review, assessment of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission, and changes contemplated for the Total Force. Thus, the answer to my question "Why do you need to buy The Pentagon's New Map?" is that it will help you understand the most likely world in which you will lead and the changes that world portends for our military.
Col Randal D. Fullhart, USAF
Maxwell AFB, Alabama
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|Title Annotation:||Net Assessment|
|Author:||Fullhart, Randal D.|
|Publication:||Air & Space Power Journal|
|Article Type:||Book Review|
|Date:||Sep 22, 2004|
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